A Study of 1 & 2 Samuel

The Ark in Captivity

Photo of Dennis McCallum
Dennis McCallum

1 Samuel 4:17-5:13; 1 Samuel 6:19; 1 Samuel 7:1-13; Hebrews 9:4-10


The Ark of the Covenant was also called the Ark of Testimony. It contained three pieces of evidence of God's provision for the Israelites, and their rebellion against Him. Its contents included: 1) a gold jar of manna, representing God's provision of His Word; 2) Aaron's rod which had budded, representing God's provision of the priesthood; and 3) the two tablets of the law, God's moral requirements. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sacrificial lamb on the lid of the ark, also known as the mercy seat. All of these symbols foreshadowed Jesus' sacrifice, God's solution to mankind's problem of sin. God's protection and empowerment of Israel was contingent upon the nation's repentance from idolatry. The same is true of us today.


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